Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Social Media Quick Tip: Tag Your Favorite Wine Brands on Facebook

This is old news for some, but if you haven’t explored the status tagging feature (similar to photo tagging) on Facebook, take a few minutes and check it out.

Status tagging can help your winery’s Facebook fan page to become more engaging and vibrant.  Facebook users can type the “@” symbol before a Facebook fan page name that they’re a fan of along with the first few letters of the fan page right after the @ sign, and Facebook begins to populate your friends names and fan pages for you to click on, creating a direct link to the page (or personal profile) and also appearing on that fan page or profile.

For example, you work for a winery.  Your personal profile oftentimes has updates about your day at the winery, but those updates don’t make it over to your winery’s fan page because you’re running short on time.  Here’s what you can do to save time and get your fan page updated more easily.

1. Go to your personal profile.

2. Type your update text into the “What’s On Your Mind” box and be sure to type @xyzwinery within your update text.  You’ll see choices pop up after you type the @ symbol.  (ie Just finished bottling  2008 @xyzwinery Cabernet Franc with barely a bottle broken!)

3. Click on the appropriate fan page link after the @ symbol and finish your update.

The update will now appear on both your personal profile page and the winery’s fan page if they allow links from fans to show on their wall.  If your winery doesn’t allow links from fans, I highly recommend that you do so by adjusting your fan page settings.  Organic content from fans is the lifeblood of a successful fan page.

I bet you have some Facebook-savvy customers who will follow your lead and tag their updates about you and their wine experiences with you.  Let’s help each other out and tag other wineries and businesses on Facebook when we’ve visited them.   (I don’t seem to have the ability to status tag from my blackberry’s Twitterberry app just yet)

Photo credit: respres flickr photos

Interview: Facebook’s Andrew Bosworth Talks Facebook for Wine Businesses

Video Source: WITS YouTube Channel

Here’s a video interview from the Wine Industry Technology Summit earlier this year that addresses some basics of how Facebook can help wineries differentiate their brands.  There’s also some discussion around privacy settings, content appropriate for personal profiles vs. business fan pages.

Key takeaways:

  • Emphasis on the importance of telling a story
  • Engage with your customers
  • It’s not enough to have a good wine product, how will you differentiate your wine?
  • Find the stories that consumers can latch onto
  • Your ability to communicate with multiple people via social media is greatly increased as opposed to private, individual email responses
  • If you’re not sure if you should post something on Facebook, don’t post it.
  • Facebook helps you connect in a richer, more dynamic way than traditional channels

I’ve noticed an increase in the number of Harvest reports via video, photos and posts on Facebook and Twitter here in Finger Lakes Wine Country this year.  Are you noticing an increase in interest or conversation around Harvest this year from consumers because of the reports?  Do you expect these Harvest stories to help you sell wine and wine club memberships? Any other benefits to report?

Social Media Quick Tip: Add Social Media Info to Signage

july 2009, wbc, personal 055

I bet a bunch of you are already all over this one.  I spotted this signage from Faust Winery in Napa Valley during the Grand Tasting of Napa Wines at Quintessa during the recent Wine Bloggers Conference.

This is a simple, low-cost branding strategy to promote your social media efforts.  Once you get your customers there, you know what happens eventually: they’ll start talking to you and hopefully providing valuable information on their likes and dislikes, preferences and experiences with your wine brand.

Although this sign was on a table at a tasting, you can also create signage that is representative of your brand’s look and feel and post them in your tasting room, create postcards, add your social media info to your business cards, print out pages and include in the bottom of customer shopping bags, include in your shipment boxes.

If you’re a winery who is already promoting your pages this way, I would love to have you upload your photos to the fan photos section of my Facebook fan page.  That way we can see each other’s signage and use the photos for info on how to fan each other’s pages.

And it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a smiling staff member to promote the info either.

july 2009, wbc, personal 054

Winery Facebook Fan Page: Ceja Vineyards

Amelia, Pedro, Armando and Martha Ceja

Amelia, Pedro, Armando and Martha Ceja

Okay wineries.  I bet you have your Facebook fan page up and running.  You update it with event details, photos from your winery, photos of your bottles and labels, new release announcements.  You’re thinking that you’re on track and ahead of the pack, right?

Although these are all great elements for your page, take your strategy one step further.  Gather your staff and have a no-holds-barred discussion of what it is about your winery that your customers and wine club members LOVE about you.  Make sure that that core of your brand is woven into each and every post.  Ceja Vineyards in Napa and Sonoma is a great example of a winery fan page that does this very effectively.  Here’s why:

  • Ceja Vineyards is founded by a Latino family of first-generation Mexican-American winegrowers from Napa and Sonoma Valleys named Amelia, Pedro, Armando and Martha Ceja.
  • The Cejas’ page exudes a tight-knit, hard-working family winery that is proud of its heritage and carries its fun, warm Latino roots into each post.  The Ceja Vineyards staff all contribute to the page and there’s a familiar, friendly voice that says, “Hola Friends!”
  • For example, a Ceja Vineyards staff person posted that it was Amelia Ceja’s birthday along with a picture of her.  Amelia received birthday wishes there from fans.
  • The page has a post that links to a cool wine and music site that features Ceja Vineyards wines with music from Tito Puente, a famous Latin jazz artist.  Click on the songs and it transports you to a fun time that requires a Latino wine.
  • The Cejas have posted a photo album called “In the Beginning” that tells the story of the winery’s roots.  You can see the passion and enthusiasm in the faces of the family members.  After checking out their page, you get a true sense of who they are and what their wines mean to them.
One family in the Ceja gang - Ariel, Amelia, Navek, Dalia and Pedro Ceja

One family in the Ceja gang - Ariel, Amelia, Navek, Dalia and Pedro Ceja

  • Most importantly, the Cejas respond to comments personally and regularly.  Muy bueno!!

Winery Resource Alert: The State of Wine Industry Social Media


More than likely, if you’re reading this post, you have an interest in gaining a detailed understanding of social media platforms and those that are most relevant to the health and happiness of your winery’s business. A group of the industry’s top thought leaders at VinTank, Derek Bromley and Tom Wark have compiled the first whitepaper specifically for the wine industry entitled, “The State of Wine Industry Social Media.”

The paper contains some tech-speak that may look a bit scary at first, but hang in there and read through to the end. These guys are in-the-know, have strong relationships in the wine industry with bloggers, traditional media and developers and seek to help you, the winery principal, to navigate and gain an understanding of the social media landscape. Facebook, Twitter, Wine Blogs, Wine Social Networks, Gary V and Wine Library TV are detailed specifically pertaining to their relevance to wineries and wine retailers.

Paul Mabray and team are eager to receive questions or input on the report and can be reached at: ADDRESS: 1250 Main Street Suite #270 Napa, CA 94559 • PHONE: 800.605.8265 • WEB: • EMAIL:

Or comment on the Tasting Room blog at

A special thank you to the VinTank team for mentions of myself, my client Andrew Kamphuis at Vin65 and senior strategist and wine blogger friend, Michael Wangbickler, on their thank you page.

UPDATE (5/12/09)

If you would like to listen to Paul Mabray discuss some of the key findings of the report, check this out

Winery Resource Alert: Facebook Marketing Solutions

I need to apologize for my recent gap in posts.  A combination of family needs and taking a deep breath by diving into more webinars, workshops and round tables pulled me away from posting here, but I’ve found some new information for you that will be helpful.  Thanks for your patience during my absence!

During the recent Social Media Workshop in Finger Lakes Wine Country, I encouraged attendees to engage in the social media space to keep up with thought leaders in the wine industry.  Over the past year, I have paid special attention to several, one of whom is Paul Mabray, Chief Strategy Officer at VinTank.

Last night, I pulled up my Facebook News Feed and noticed a notification in the Highlights section that Paul had become a fan of a page called “Facebook Marketing Solutions.”  This page is written by the team at Facebook and advises businesses and brands on the best way to engage with their fans and gain more fans via friends of existing fans without being too noisy or pushy.

facebook-benjerrys21The information found there will answer many of the questions you may have about getting started on Facebook and continuing a conversation with your fans.  A good place to start is a note called “Make The Most of Your New Page for Brands.” For event promotion, this note walks you through the benefits of creating an event via Facebook.  Although the notes oftentimes reference the benefits of incorporating a strategy that includes purchasing a Facebook ad, the key takeaways are helpful and I have heard some positive things about the ability to target a niche audience with these ads.

A Facebook Marketing Solutions wall post that I found compelling and relevant to the wine industry reads,

“Vin Diesel added almost 0.5MM fans yesterday and 1MM fans this week on the heels of Fast & Furious and some great “insider” content on his Page. As a good practice, are you providing interesting behind-the-scenes content for your fans? (guess that goes for FB Marketing Solutions too… ok – coming soon!)”

Personally, I LOVE the insider stuff that is posted by Facebook friends who are winery owners, winemakers and principals at businesses in the wine industry.  Vin Diesel took his fans behind the scenes at the Latin Billboard Awards.  What types of things capture the interest of your winery’s fans?  Look at your calendar and plan out posts to your fan page that include some insider stuff.  Keep the content simple, illustrate with photos and video.  Take the time to include a caption for photos and video that adds to the story and explains who, what, when, where and why.  Let your personality show through.

Social Media Quick Tips: Do a “Gut Check” Before Posting

I just saw this article as a “retweet” on Twitter from Gabriella Opaz, fellow wine blogger and wine marketing consultant at (A retweet is when one individual copies a tweet from someone in their network and shares it with their network, according to Jeremiah Owyang of Forrester Research.)

It’s important. For those who attended the recent Social Media Basics Workshop earlier this month, it reiterates one of the key takeaways of the workshop: the goal of social media interactions for wineries and small businesses is to build relationships. Transparency, authenticity, credibility and being real are all necessary to be successful on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms. Do it right and a social media presence can continue to build the bond with customers that was established in the tasting room.

Phil Jr., Assistant winemaker at Damiani Wine Cellars

Phil Jr., Assistant winemaker at Damiani Wine Cellars

This is a natural fit for small wineries and their staffs. What I’ve found most appealing about my experiences in local tasting rooms is the good natured, welcoming personalities behind the wine. Upload pictures from events, winemaking tasks, your customers, funny stuff that happens during your day, your staff interacting, etc. to your Facebook public profile and on TwitPic. Keep your customers interested by showcasing your winery’s personality.

Set aside a chunk of time each day to interact and update your status, share pictures and join the conversations that are taking place on these networks. If you’re questioning whether or not to put something out there, do a gut check. Ask yourself, “Is this appropriate? Am I being overly promotional and blatant in pushing my business?” Remember that although social networks welcome a much more casual voice, each post and update adds to the layer that is your personal brand and that personal brand reflects on your winery and business brand. Don’t forget to interact and respond to comments. You know, show that there are faces and real people behind your winery’s brand.

Amy Hoffman and staff of Rooster Hill Vineyards

Amy Hoffman and staff of Rooster Hill Vineyards

Does Your Winery Have a Facebook Profile Under Your Winery’s Name? If So, Read This.


As you know, I’m a big fan of social media and the power it has to create online conversations and engagement for wineries. Although I have spent a lot of time figuring out the intricacies of several of the platforms, I’m definitely still learning as I go and want to keep you informed as well.

I just received a call from a winery marketing friend who was frantic because her winery’s Facebook profile page had been deleted. It was set up as “XYZ Winery.”  The reason given in an email to her read:

“Per our Terms of Use, Facebook profiles must represent a single individual. Users are not permitted to maintain an account under an organization’s name, or use personal accounts primarily to promote themselves professionally.  We apologize for the inconvenience, but you will no longer be able to use this account. If you were running ads on this account, they’ve automatically been stopped so no new charges will accrue.

If you’d like to represent your entity on Facebook, you’ll need to continue using Facebook Pages. Visitors to your Page won’t have any access to your personal account, or know that you manage the Page.

If you already have a personal account, you’ll need to use it to continue managing your Page, as users aren’t permitted to maintain multiple accounts for any reason. We can transfer your Page to that account if you provide us with the address associated with that account. Please be sure to include all previous correspondence when you reply.

If you don’t yet have a personal account, you’ll need to create one and let us know the email address of that account. Unfortunately, we will not be able free the disabled address for use in creating a new account, so you’ll need to use a new address for this. Again, please be sure to include all previous correspondence when you reply.

When you reply, also let us know if you’d like us to transfer the friends and any notes, posted items, discussion board posts, or wall posts from your disabled account to your new Page. We won’t be able to transfer any friends or content to your profile as your profile is only to be used to represent yourself as an individual. Unfortunately we aren’t able to transfer photos, videos or events from your old account over to the Page at this time.  If you were running ads on this account, they’ve automatically been stopped so no new charges will accrue. We won’t be able to transfer them to any other account.

If you’re also managing a group related to your organization, we can transfer group members and some content from your group to your Page. If you’d like us to do this, please also include your group URL. The group won’t be affected by this change.”

So Facebook is policing their profiles and disabling accounts that represent businesses.  But don’t panic, here’s what you should do if you’re a winery and currently have a profile set up in your winery’s name:

  • Designate one or several winery staff to manage and engage on Facebook.  This is actually the best way to let visitors get to know the people behind your winery and create connections with them.
  • Have the person or persons create a personal profile, in their individual name.  If they have one already, all the better.
  • To promote and engage with Facebook users in your winery’s interest, create a Fan Page or Group Page or both.  For events, you can send invites directly to friends. You can also promote Fan Pages and Groups by clicking on the “Share +” button.   These pages will be linked to your personal account but visitors won’t have access to your personal information.
  • If you have questions or issues, there is no Facebook phone number but they do offer a contact form.

Rather than wait for Facebook to catch up with you and delete your account, please take the time to rectify your profile so that it falls in line with Facebook’s policies.  Don’t let this sour you to this and other social media platforms.  They really are tremendous for small businesses on limited marketing budgets that need to complement their efforts with a low or no-cost (and fun) initiative.

Some other interesting points came to light via a conversation I started about this on Twitter and Facebook just now:

From Robert McIntosh, a wine blogger at Wine Conversation from London:

interesting and not unexpected – it is in the T&C. Would suggest ‘branded’ profiles encourage friends into fan pages quick!

I think wineries should create fan pages, then the PEOPLE (all) behind the winery create profiles and link to it.

I stopped accepting FB friend requests from wineries (not people) a while ago. Not effective anyway!

From Robbin Gheesling, wine blogger at Vineyard Adventures:

Ah yes. Well, I agree with that. Vineyard Adventures is a FAN page and I will not “friend” businesses. I will become a FAN of a business, but adding them as a friend gives them access to all my personal info and I refuse.

And remember, social media participants are really looking to get to know YOU as a person, what your day is like, which new wines you’re releasing and how that works, what your outside interests are, what your dog is up to, etc.  This type of conversation creates connections, believe me.  Check out David Whiting’s profile for  a great example of a winery owner who created a personal Facebook page and subtly promotes Red Newt Cellars Winery there via updates and a fan page.  He also weaves in some personal updates which is what I definitely recommend.  (You’ll only be able to view it if you’ve friended Dave on Facebook.)  Don’t worry,  just be sure to pay close attention to the Terms and Conditions sections of these platforms which is something I learned from all of this.

Winery Marketing: It May Be Time to Create a Plan B

After reading an email update about New York Governor Paterson’s proposed 2009-2010 budget plan that would eliminate the budget of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, I sat back and thought about what that would mean for my friends here in the Finger Lakes wine industry. It certainly would make promoting the region more challenging with a smaller pool of capital to work with. So during this time when funding from NYW&GF is uncertain and cannot be counted on, it may be time to create a plan B for 2009.

A good place to start is with an assessment of your current marketing position. Which strategies have been most successful for you to date? Are there low-cost ways to continue to spread the word about your winery and the region? Who are your core customers and where do they spend time consuming information and doing research? Do you have a charismatic, inviting spokesperson who can actively promote your winery brand? What have you tried that hasn’t worked?

Next, dig in and do some research, look to your current best customers and ask them what keeps them coming back to you. Explore your options for actively pursuing new customers/visitors with a marketing-savvy friend, colleague or consultant. And certainly don’t forget to take special care of your current customers and keep up communication with them. Social media platforms provide a low-cost way to actively engage with your customers and prospective new customers. Explore social media platforms such as Open Wine Consortium, Facebook and Twitter and seriously consider introducing them into your marketing mix if you haven’t already.  There’s a group on Open Wine Consortium for wineries to interact with each other and the discussions in the general forum of the OWC contain valuable insights from the thought-leaders in our industry that may help you.

Plan for the worst-case scenario in regards to funding from the New York Wine & Grape Foundation. That way, you’ll have a bare-bones plan in place that can be put into motion without losing a beat. There is strength in collaborating with others in the industry both here and in other wine regions. In my experience, those in the wine industry are passionate, friendly and helpful and you may discover a new idea that may be the one that makes a difference in your bottom line.  Don’t be afraid to contact me or comment here if you would like to continue the discussion.